Succession Season 4: Who will succeed Logan Roy?

Logan Roy and Kendall in SuccessionHBO

Succession Season 4 will fulfill the promise of its title: someone will “win” and succeed Logan Roy – the question is, who will it be? Let’s go full f*cking beast.

At the heart of HBO’s endgame-ticking drama, between all of its financial deal-making, political faux pas, searing insults that’d leave a normal person winded, and mortifying Boar on the Floor grovelling, Succession is one thing: a rat race.

The show’s story orbits Waystar Royco CEO Logan Roy: a cantankerous old man, the most ruthless businessman in America, and an abusive, devoted father to four power-hungry children trying to slit his throat one second and cozying up the next.

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Unlike The Rock’s broken pledge, the hierarchy of Succession universe has already changed with Season 4 – so, let’s weigh up the potential candidates for the Waystar throne, if there’s even a company left to run.


Spoilers to follow…

Who will succeed Logan Roy in Succession?

Everyone wants a slice of the Waystar pie, but Logan Roy has been nothing but a tease throughout Succession. He was meant to retire and hand the reins to Kendall, but he didn’t. He manipulates Roman to no end. Shiv was once offered the top job, but her own hubris and Logan’s wobbling got in the way.

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In an interview with The New Yorker, showrunner Jesse Armstrong said: “There’s a promise in the title of Succession. I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind.”

In Episode 3, the fourth season delivered a shocking, brilliant twist: Logan finally kicked the bucket, dying unceremoniously on a plane as he headed to meet “the Swede” and have one last roar at the meteor before it wiped him out. In Episode 4, Kendall and Roman were made interim co-COOs.

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We have six episodes left and a long list of ascendants-in-waiting, so we’ve ranked them from least to most likely. “It’s war, f*ck off!”

Lukas Matsson

Alexander Skarsgård plays Lukas Matsson in Succession Season 4HBO

Lukas Matsson urinated on his phone while it tried to load a Waystar website just to prove how dreadful it was. His zen, no-bullsh*t attitude charmed Logan into selling to GoJo, paving the way for him to become the top dog.

Here’s the problem with that: he’s a true outsider, coming into the show beyond its halfway point. If anything, he’s a secondary antagonist to the Roys: a superior, modern-day businessman with no blood in the game. How and when he’s unseated remains to be seen, but don’t bank on him as your winner.

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Gerri Kellman

J. Smith Cameron as Gerri KellmanHBO

Gerri isn’t the dark horse of Succession – she’s the best choice. She served as interim CEO while Logan was ill, and did a bloody good job. She doesn’t scare people into respecting her, instead carefully cultivating her position and carrying out her duties loyally and effectively. In the Season 3 finale, she told a tearful Roman as he sought her support: “How does it serve my interests?”

Yet, lest we forget, Logan discovered her not-so-mutual, icky dynamic with his youngest son, and her relationship with the boss was frosty throughout the opening episodes of Season 4, to the point he ordered Roman to sack her. Whether or not that’ll be upheld is unclear, and she may also have some dirt on Roman if he’s destined for the throne. The most likely result: she’ll throw some heavy hits before the end, but that’s about it.

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Shiv Roy

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in SuccessionHBO

Shiv is a politically-savvy straight-shooter with more palatable values, while also having her dad’s mercilessness in her genes when needed. Surely, considering all of her brothers’ issues, she’s the natural successor?

That’d be all fine and well if she didn’t already bungle her shot at CEO amid the cruise line debacle (aka, systematic abuse, rape, and obfuscation). She was his favorite, but she may not have the poise to go all the way, especially with her marriage to Tom turning to ash.

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Tom Wambsgans

Tom Wambsgans in Succession Season 4HBO

The insidious fan favorite of Succession, Tom Wambsgans plays dirty, talks dirty, and clinically navigates Waystar’s world to his benefit. In Season 3, he pulled off one of the greatest double-crosses in the history of television, fortifying his position as an ally of Logan and making him an obvious contender.

However, a worry pervaded the first episode of Season 4: when his marriage to Shiv falls through, would Logan make room for him, or was he happy to keep him around as his only connection to his daughter?

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Of course, that’s a bit irrelevant now that he’s dead, and his concerns have changed: without his “protector”, what’s a lapdog without a master? A stray. We won’t be surprised if he rules the roost with Greg by his side, but he seems destined for downfall after such a betrayal.

Roman Roy

Roman Roy in SuccessionHBO

Season 1 Roman Roy vs Season 4 Roman Roy are very different people. At the start, he was needy, dim-witted, and outrageous, not to mention how he spearheaded a disastrous missile launch. Now, he’s all grown up and, by his own claim, the “best businessman in America.”

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While Kendall and Shiv started off hellbent on satiating their appetite for revenge, Roman seemed more interested in pursuing actual work, whether it’s an entirely new venture or hesitantly teaming up with his dad again. His acumen could be the strongest of the three, if he weren’t so volatile.

How Logan’s death affects him will be the biggest test of his mettle so far, but we know from the trailer that he’s due to have a tense face-off with Matsson, and there’s a curious shot of him standing in the street during a protest. Does he become a footsoldier for the next CEO, or does he become a down-to-earth boss?

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Kendall Roy

Jeremy Strong as Kendall RoyHBO

Oh, Kendall. Logan’s “number one boy” and the bearer of 1,000 burdens, whether it’s the guilt of being involved in a man’s death, his divorce, substance abuse, or staging multiple revolutions against his dad only to be punted to the lowest rung of the ladder. His fragility has been constantly exploited.

In Episode 4, he was officially named as Logan’s (interim) successor alongside Roman. If he stages a comeback, it’ll be the closest thing to a classic happy ending for Succession: the prodigal son overcoming his evil father once and for all, even in death, finally armed with the spunk and moxie – and three supportive siblings, hopefully – to be the leader he’s always wanted to be.

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Greg Hirsch

Nicholas Braun as Greg in SuccessionHBO

The people’s champion, the hero we need and deserve: Greg Hirsch, aka Cousin Greg, could and should succeed Logan Roy, establishing a new line of succession away from the rot of the current family tree.

When he was first introduced, he was a bumbling, lurking, lanky target for mockery from the Roys, but his intentions were honest: he wanted to get a stable job from his great-uncle and work his way up.

And then he met Tom, the Nero to his Sporus. They’re close friends, but Greg’s been watching closer than Tom gives him credit for; for example, in Season 1, he blackmailed Kendall over the cruise line scandal.

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He has one advantage over Tom: he’s actual family, as he’s the son of Logan’s estranged brother Ewan… who could also leave his estate to Greg in his will if he kicks the bucket, giving him a controlling stake in Waystar. He’d be the best of both worlds: a decent person with a knack for survival and playing the long game.

Succession Season 4 Episodes 1-6 are streaming on HBO and Sky now. Episode 7 will be available to watch on May 7 in the US and May 8 in the UK. Check out our other coverage below:

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Season 4 cast | Season 4 release schedule | Season 4 runtimes | Is Succession based on a real family? | What time does Succession drop?

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